One of the most frequent pieces of feedback I hear, both from listeners of the English Learning for Curious Minds podcast and our fantastic members is that it's hard to find opportunities to speak in English.
If you live in a non-English speaking country, it's especially hard.
So, for our member-only session in February we did something a little bit different.
It was an "Icebreaker Session".
An Icebreaker is a series of questions that are intended to be easy to answer, help get a conversation started, and help people get to know each other.
In our session yesterday, there were four different categories of icebreaker games, each with a different theme:
- Nice to meet you
- Your life in English
- Show and tell
- Would you rather?
For each game, members were randomly put into small groups or pairs, to answer fun and interesting icebreaker questions.
Some questions were basic and a bit silly, others were slightly more thought-provoking.
If you could transport yourself to any place in the world just for this weekend, where would you go?
What is your favourite unusual word in English?
Would you rather be able to speak fluent English or be able to speak to animals?
Would you rather be transported permanently 500 years into the future or 500 years into the past?
What is something in your house that you haven't used for more than a year but can't bring yourself to throw away?
If you had to have dinner with one historical figure, who would it be (and why)?
These games went by very quickly, and it was a great way for curious minds from so many different countries to meet likeminded people, discuss interesting questions, and practise their English in a fun environment.
Of course, all of the conversation was in English - special congratulations to the Spanish and Czech members who managed to resist the urge to speak in their native languages!
I think this could be a winning format for our future sessions, and am already getting excited for the one next month.
If you're a member of Leonardo English, look out for the announcement about the next session, and I hope to see you there.
If you're not yet a member of Leonardo English, and you are ready to improve your English in a more interesting way, then I'd love to welcome you as a member: Become a member of Leonardo English.